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Michael Hemmesch, Saint John’s University
(320) 363-2595 /

Kristin Heinmets, Haberman
(612) 327-6458 / 

Cathedral of Christ the Light “Overjoyed” With
Gift of The Saint John’s Bible Heritage Edition
Oakland Becomes Fifth U.S. City Where People Can Experience
The Saint John’s Bible Heritage Edition

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. – March 9, 2009 – The Wisdom volume of The Saint John’s Bible Heritage Edition was presented to Oakland’s Cathedral of Christ the Light on March 7.  Rev. Paul Minnihan, provost of the Cathedral of Christ the Light, received the volume on behalf of the Diocese of Oakland during a 5:30 p.m. Vigil Mass celebrated by Rev. Minnihan.

The presentation took place in the recently dedicated 1,300-seat cathedral where the Heritage Edition will be on permanent display in a future museum space. The cathedral will eventually receive all seven volumes. The parishioners and visitors will be invited to experience one of the 299 Saint John’s Bible Heritage Editions that will be produced.

The Heritage Edition, the only full-size, fine art reproduction of The Saint John’s Bible, was introduced in 2008 when the first volume was presented to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican on April 4, 2008.  Upon viewing the pages, Pope Benedict exclaimed: “This is a work of art … this is a great work of art … this is a work for eternity.”

By sharing the Heritage Edition with the Bay Area community, the Cathedral of Christ the Light joins John Carroll University, Cleveland; Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, Calif.; the Naples Museum of Art, Naples, Fla.; and Clarke College, Dubuque, Iowa, in helping to fulfill the mission of sharing The Saint John’s Bible worldwide and making it accessible to everyone.

“The Cathedral of Christ the Light discloses the history of salvation through the media of the 21st century. The Saint John’s Bible captures the essence of our faith in artistry and media of the 21st century, as well. I believe the marriage of the cathedral and this bible is truly providential,” said Minnihan. â€œAll of us in Oakland are overjoyed with this gift to our community.”

The Heritage Edition, which was presented to the Cathedral of Christ the Light by Abbot John Klassen, OSB, is a gift from Saint John’s University at the request of Dan and Katharine Whalen, residents of Oakland and parishioners of Saint Theresa Parish in the Diocese of Oakland.

“Katharine and I are pleased that all who enter this beautiful new cathedral can view The Saint John’s Bible,” said Dan Whalen, a 1970 graduate of Saint John’s University. Whalen, a northern California telecommunications executive and investor, also said, “We couldn’t be more honored that this sacred space will bring light to the sacred text for decades to come.”

As the new center for downtown Oakland, the cathedral, whose award-winning design reflects light and space, is an ideal setting for the Heritage Edition of The Saint John’s Bible. Just as the Bible’s mission is to illuminate the word of God in the new millennium, the Cathedral of Christ the Light is dedicated to “bring to all the light of Christ which shines out visibly from the Church.”

To learn more about the Cathedral of Christ the Light, visit the cathedral’s Web site

About The Saint John’s Bible
The Saint John’s Bible is the first handwritten, hand illuminated Bible in more than 500 years.  Under the artistic direction of Donald Jackson, the internationally acclaimed calligrapher and senior scribe to the Queen of England, The Saint John’s Bible was commissioned by the Benedictine monks of Saint John’s Abbey and University to ignite the spiritual imagination of believers throughout the world and to illuminate the word of God for a new millennium.

Through the Heritage Program, individuals and artistic, religious and cultural institutions can experience and share the only full-size, limited edition reproductions of The Saint John’s Bible.  Bound in soft Italian leather and printed on 100 percent American cotton paper, the Heritage Edition features the exquisite calligraphy, vibrant imagery and stunning gold and silver illuminations inspired by the original.  With Jackson as the creative director, the Heritage Edition is a work of art in its own right and each volume includes Jackson’s signature and certificate of authenticity. Visit for more information.